ON THE DAY OF THE SURGERY
- Do not spit forcibly, or rinse your mouth for 24 hours after surgery, to allow for proper initial healing.
If you smoke, please avoid doing so for at least 2 weeks after surgery, and longer, if possible. Smoke is a servere irritant and may prolong or delay the healing process, as well as significantly increase the risk of infection.
- BLEEDING: Some bleeding is expected after surgery. Minor oozing from the mouth or nose may persist for several days. If gauze dressings were placed in your mouth, leave them in place for 1 hour after you leave the office, then remove them and discard them. If oozing persists, place another piece of gauze at the site, and bite gently for 20-30 minutes, Repeat this if necessary. Be sure to apply the gauze between your lip or cheek and bridge. If gauze is not available, a clean, moistened washcloth or a moistened tea bag may be used. Excessive bleeding that can not be controlled by the above measures is an emergency. Please call us if this occurs.
- DIET: You may begin to take cool liquids immediately. Please asvoid hot or spicy foods for 48 hours. A non chewing diet should be maintained until you are instructed otherwise at your first follow up visit 7-10 days after surgery. During this time, avoid drinking through a straw.
- PAIN MEDICATION: Mild to moderate discomfort is possible after surgery. Perscribed pain relievers, if needed, should be taken as directed. Pain medication is more effective if it is taken before the local anesthetic (novocaine) wears off. Numbness may last for 6-12 hours.
- ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics should be taken as directed until finished. Female patients should be aware that antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Alternative or additional methods of contraception should be used until your next menstrual cycle.
- STEROID PACK: A steroid pack was prescribed to minimize inflammation and therefore swelling and discomfort. Start taking this medication when you get home, beginning with the pills labeled to be taken with dinner. This means that you will discard some of the pills for the first day. IV medication was given to you to compensate for this.
- SWELLING: Swelling is common after oral surgical procedures, and can be reduced by applying ice packs for the first 48 hours after surgery. The ice should be placed in a plastic bag and wrapped with a towel to protect the skin. After the first 48 hours heat can be applied to decrease swelling. In some instances, bruising or discoloration can occur and may last for several days.
ON THE DAYS FOLLOWING SURGERY
Rinse your mouth gently 3 times a day with the prescribed mouth rinse. You should also rinse gently but thoroughly several times a day with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water), especially after eating.
- Do not probe or disturb the healing area with your tongue, fingers, toothbrush or other instrument and do not pull on your lips as this may disrupt your sutures.
- You may begin brushing your natural teeth as usual, the day after surgery. Your new bridge may be brushed on the teeth ONLY with a soft tooth brush and plain water.
- Sutures (stitches) that were placed, will normnally loosen and fall out within 1-2 weeks.
It is very important that you brush very gently during the first week following surgery. Please avoid vigorous swishing.
- Sinus symptoms are normal and can include congestion and nasal discharge. Small amounts of blood or blood clots will often be cleared through your nose.
- It is very important that you not create any pressure in your mouth or nose during the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. DO NOT pinch and blow your nose nor blow your nose forcibly. If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open and do not try to hold back or stifle the sneeze.
- Avoid blowing with your mouth and whistling.
- Minimize talking for the first 3-4 days after surgery.
- You may temporarily experience some difficulty with speech and the pronunciation of certain words due to your new bridge.
- In some instances, swelling may place pressure on nerves resulting in some prolonged numbness of the lower lip or chin areas. This will normally begin to improve within a few days and will usually subside completely within a few weeks.
SO THAT WE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE CARE, PLEASE BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT AS SCHEDULED